Migration to Costa Rica Expected to Increase Due to Climate Change

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The more elaborate scenarios of climate change impacts indicate that half of Costa Rica to the north will experience increased drought, which encourage internal and external migration to the cities, especially in the areas of Guanacaste and Nicaragua.

    Eduard Müller, director of the University for International Cooperation (UCI), said the country does not know the exact number of internal and external environmental refugees.

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    Estimates of the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Center for Internal Displacement Monitoring revealed that in 2012 the country only had 2,000 environmental refugees.

    “All affected after a flood, landslide, hurricane and other environmental phenomena are displaced, but not recorded as such, as opposed to victims of a single event, which prevents us from analyzing the situation in a comprehensive way,” said Müller .

    Forecasts indicate that in about 10 or 15 years much of the Southern Caribbean area of Costa Rica will be displaced by a rise in sea level, which will also affect the drinking water supply in the area and the supply of resources for agriculture.

    The impacts will also be on the Pacific coast, mainly because they have eliminated natural barriers, like in Manuel Antonio.

    Müller said that the most obvious impact on the costs will be the direct increase in the amount of Costa Ricans that are present. However, there are a number of alerts that are being swept aside.

    For example, he noted damage suffered by poor infrastructure with the solution being to modify the construction. Müller believes that what is really needed is to restore the basin so that when it rains the rain flow does not get out of its channel.

    “You have to plant trees along river and so they regulate the flow,” he said.

    The northern area has already experience increased lapses and hardness of droughts in recent years and there have been the first migrations from this area to the cities.

    In Monteverde, rain has decreased 1 meters in 30 years even though it is a cloud forest.

    Despite these indicators, Müller felt that the efforts made ​​by the authorities are minimal or absent.

    All these internal and external migrations increase the concentration of the population in the cities, increasing the pressure on resources and pushing the country into situations that may be unsuitable for life.

    Müller will expand on this topic during the Alternatives Eco Congress , to be held from March 4 to March 8, 2014.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose Costa Rica

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